A few companies landed some of the largest rounds for travel startups this year, including Series C rounds for JetSmarter and Hopper for $105 million and $61 million, respectively. We look at the significance of these deals and where this new funding puts these companies in our analyses and original stories below.
Each week we create a roundup of travel startups that have received or announced funding that week. The total amount raised this week was more than $218 million.
Here are six companies that announced they raised funding this week and see previous roundups here.
>>Claiming a $1.5 billion valuation with its latest round, JetSmarter raised a $105 million in Series C funding from new investors JetEdge and London-based KZ Capital and existing investors that include Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Xojet and the Saudi Royal Family. The Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company’s total funding now stands at more than $157 million.
JetSmarter, founded in 2012, is a private jet startup with a mobile app connecting travelers to private jets in real-time and is membership-based. Members pay $15,000 for the first year of membership for seats on private and charter flights and go through a background check before becoming a member. The company also doesn’t own any planes and works with operators, carriers and owners that manage the aircraft.
JetSmarter offers flights to 50 cities including New York City, London, Moscow, Las Vegas and Dubai. “The JetShuttle service currently has the most routes between cities in the U.S. and Europe — owning 96 percent of the shared shuttle business — but doing very strong business in the Middle East,” JetSmarter told Skift. “With this round of funding, JetSmarter plans to continue the global expansion of its JetShuttle service into Latin America, Asia and India and expanding within existing countries where there is enough supply to satisfy demand for new cities and routes.”
While JetSmarter claims to own 96 percent of the shared shuttle business between the U.S. and Europe, this is likely a fraction of the larger private charter market.
For example, Xojet, a private air charter service and an investor in JetSmarter’s latest round, announced this week that it’s partnering with Etihad Airways to give Xojet’s existing Preferred and Elite Access clients Gold Status with Etihad Guest, Etihad’s airline’s loyalty program.
>>Hopper, an app-only flight booker, has raised a $61 million Series C round led by new investor Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), one of North America’s largest pension fund managers, and participation from existing investors Brightspark Ventures, Accomplice, Omers, Investissement Québec and BDC Capital IT Venture Fund. Hopper’s total funding is now $82 million since it was founded in 2007.